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Title:
GAS COOKING ASSEMBLY AND A HOB COMPRISING THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/185341
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A gas cooking assembly comprises: (a) a base part (10) comprising: (al) a burner body (14) for installation in a cooktop surface (16); (a2) a gas outlet (20) in the burner body (14); and (a3) an ignition source (22) in the burner body (14); and (b) an upper part (12) comprising: (bl) at least one foot (36) for supporting the upper part (12) on the cooktop surface (16); (b2) a grate (26) for supporting a cooking vessel; (b3) an annular flame spreader (28); and (b4) a gas inlet (46) at the bottom side of the flame spreader (28); wherein the upper part (12) is an integral unit that is removable from the base part (10), wherein when the upper part (12) is connected to the base part (10), the gas inlet (46) of the upper part (12) connects to the gas outlet (20) of the base part (10).

Inventors:
BASSETTI, Alex (Viale Bologna, 298, Forli, 47100, IT)
URIBE PORTUGAL, Areli (Viale Bologna, 298, Forli, 47122, IT)
EUSEPI, Riccardo (Viale Bologna, 298, Forli, 47122, IT)
RASI, Fabio (Viale Bologna, 298, Forli, 47122, IT)
VIVACQUA, Ferdinando (Viale Bologna, 298, Forli, 47122, IT)
Application Number:
EP2019/056019
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 11, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTROLUX APPLIANCES AKTIEBOLAG (S:t Göransgatan 143, Stockholm, 105 45, SE)
International Classes:
F24C3/08; F23D14/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2007107195A12007-09-27
Foreign References:
US20170138605A12017-05-18
NL54923C
EP2737250A22014-06-04
EP2589879A12013-05-08
US6017211A2000-01-25
EP0677705A21995-10-18
EP2592355A12013-05-15
EP2896886A12015-07-22
US20170067632A12017-03-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ELECTROLUX GROUP PATENTS - AB ELECTROLUX (S:t Göransgatan 143, Stockholm, 105 45, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A gas cooking assembly comprising:

(a) a base part (10) comprising:

(al) a burner body (14) for installation in a cooktop surface (16) ;

(a2) a gas outlet (20) in the burner body (14); and (a3) an ignition source (22) in the burner body (14); and

(b) an upper part (12) comprising:

(bl) at least one foot (36) for supporting the upper part (12) on the cooktop surface (16);

(b2) a grate (26) for supporting a cooking vessel;

(b3) an annular flame spreader (28); and

(b4) a gas inlet (46) at the bottom side of the flame spreader (28) ;

wherein the upper part (12) is an integral unit that is re movable from the base part (10), wherein when the upper part (12) is connected to the base part (10), the gas inlet (46) of the upper part (12) connects to the gas outlet (20) of the base part (10).

2. The gas cooking assembly of claim 1, wherein the grate (26) comprises an annular disk (30) which interposes the flame spreader (28) and which carries a plurality of bars (32) for supporting a cooking vessel.

3. The gas cooking assembly of claim 2, wherein a plurality of legs (34) are attached to the annular disk (30), each leg (34) having a foot (36) for supporting the upper part (12) on the cooktop surface (16) .

4. The gas cooking assembly of claim 3, wherein the bars (32) extend outwardly beyond the annular disk (30) and merge into the legs ( 34 ) .

5. The gas cooking assembly of claim 3 or 4, wherein the legs (34) are sized to provide for a distance between the flame spreader (28) and the cooktop surface (16).

6. The gas cooking assembly of any of the preceding claims,

wherein the flame spreader (28) has a generally U-shaped cross-sectional shape having inner and outer annular walls (40, 42) with a plurality of recesses (38) along the upper edge of the inner and/or outer wall (40, 42) .

7. The gas cooking assembly of claim 6, wherein the flame

spreader (28) directly abuts against the bottom side of the grate (26).

8. The gas cooking assembly of claim 6, further comprising a cap ring (48) interposed between the flame spreader (28) and the grate (26), wherein the cap ring (48) rests on the upper edge of the inner and outer walls (40, 42) of the flame spreader (28) .

9. The gas cooking assembly of any of the preceding claims,

wherein the flame spreader (28) is attached to the grate (26) by a plurality of clamps or bolts (50) .

10. The gas cooking assembly of claim 9, wherein the flame

spreader (28) comprises a plurality of lugs extending outside of the annular shape of the flame spreader and which are lo cated below bars (32) of the grate (26) , wherein bolts ex tend through the lugs into the bars .

11. The gas cooking assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the gas inlet comprises a duct (46) protruding down wards from the upper part (12), and the gas outlet (20) of the base part (10) comprises a receptacle (56) for insertion of said duct (46).

12. The gas cooking assembly of claim 11, wherein the gas outlet (20) of the base part (10) protrudes upwards from the base part, so that the upper edge of the gas outlet is located above the cooktop surface (16) .

13. The gas cooking assembly of claim 11 or 12, wherein the duct (46) and the receptacle (56) are shaped to allow insertion of the duct (46) into the receptacle (56) only at a predeter mined orientation of the upper part (12) with respect to the base part (10).

14. The gas cooking assembly of claim 13, wherein the duct (46) and the receptacle (56) have a cross-sectional shape which has a single axis of symmetry, so as to allow insertion of the duct (46) into the receptacle (56) only at two predeter mined orientations of the upper part (12) with respect to the base part (10).

15. The gas cooking assembly of any of the preceding claims,

wherein the base part (10) further comprises an adjustable Venturi assembly (18) for control of the gas air mixture that is passed to the gas outlet (20) .

16. The gas cooking assembly of any of the preceding claims,

wherein the base part (10) further comprises a thermocouple (24) for providing a flame signal indicating that the burner flame is ignited, and a safety valve for shutting off the gas supply if the thermocouple no longer provides the flame sig nal .

17. A hob comprising at least two gas burners (60, 62; 72, 76, 78), at least one of which (60; 72) is a gas cooking assembly as defined in any of the preceding claims, the base part of which is positioned at a distance to at least one further gas burner (62; 76, 78), so that the upper part can be selec tively positioned either at close proximity or at a larger distance to the at least one further gas burner.

Description:
GAS COOKING ASSEMBLY AND A HOB COMPRISING THE SAME

The present invention is directed to a gas cooking assembly and to a hob comprising the same.

Although many experienced cooks, irrespective of for domestic cooking or for commercial or gastronomical cooking, prefer gas cooking devices over electric or inductive cooking hobs, gas cooking devices often have difficulties to compete with glass ceramic hobs with electric or inductive heating in terms of ease and comfort of ease use, particularly under the aspect of flexi bility and cleanability .

Thus gas cooking fields often require more effort for cleaning because, in contrast to electric or inductive glass ceramic hobs, a gas cooking field usually consists of several individual components, which when cleaning the hob have to be disassembled, individually cleaned, and then again reassembled.

EP 2 737 250 B1 addressed such problem by providing for a burner assembly having a central gas supply feeding a flame spreader which is fixedly connected to a grate for supporting a cooking vessel. While the grate either may be supported directly by the burner or may comprise supports legs that are connected to a base ring that rests on the cooktop surface, in all embodiments the burner has a centrally located feed duct that connects to a gas supply provided in the cooktop surface.

A similar approach is shown in EP 2 589 879 A1 which discloses a gas burner assembly in which a burner crown and a burner cap are attached to a cookware support so as to integrate the burner and the cookware support as a one-part-piece to facilitate handling. Similarly as in EP 2 737 250 Bl, also the burner suggested in EP 2 589 879 A1 comprises a centrally located feed duct that con nects to a gas supply provided in the cooktop surface.

When it comes to flexibility, while in the field of glass ce ramic hobs with electric or inductive heating it is quite common to provide for variable cooking zones, the size and/or shape of which can be varied, also in the field of gas cooking devices several attempts were made to provide for variable cooking zones .

Thus, in US 6 017 211 A a gas cooking appliance was suggested having a cooktop surface and a plurality of gas burners, wherein for each burner there is provided a gas outlet in the cooktop surface, and wherein each burner comprises a circular burner nozzle having radial gas outlets, a gas inlet that is located off-center with respect to the circular shape of the burner noz zle, and two igniter openings for receiving an igniter fixedly provided in the cooktop surface, so that by rotating the burner nozzle by 180° about the gas inlet the position of the burner can be changed.

EP 0 677 705 A2 discloses a gas hob with a removable burner head which can be inserted in different positions, i.e. rotated by 90° or 180, so as to assume different working positions.

In EP 2 592 355 A1 and in EP 2 896 886 A1 there are disclosed hobs wherein a burner unit is mounted on a mechanical motion unit, in particular a motor driven turntable, so that the posi tion of the heating element can be altered.

Furthermore, in US 20170067632 A1 there is disclosed a burner assembly for a cooktop having ring-shaped burner nozzle to which gas is provided by an eccentric gas supply along the ring, wherein the ring can be rotated about the gas supply to assume various positions. While the above solutions that rely on mechanical motion units are quite complex and thus expensive to manufacture and, due to its mechanical components, are prone to wear and failure, the other solutions are disadvantageous in terms of handling and ease of use, since for moving the burner they all require a grate for supporting cooking vessels to be removed, the burner to be dislocated, and the grate to be reinstalled.

In view of the above, it is to be seen that there is room for improvement. The present invention aims to provide for a gas cooking assembly that provides for improvements in terms of han dling and ease of use, and which particularly addresses both the issues of flexibility and cleanability .

In accordance with the present invention the above object is solved by a gas cooking assembly which comprises:

(a) a base part comprising:

(al) a cooktop surface;

(a2) a gas outlet in the cooktop surface; and

(a3) an ignition source in the cooktop surface; and

(b) an upper part comprising:

(bl) at least one foot for supporting the upper part on the cooktop surface;

(b2) a grate for supporting a cooking vessel;

(b3) an annular flame spreader; and

(b4) a gas inlet at the bottom side of the flame spreader; wherein the upper part is an integral unit that is removable from the base part, wherein when the upper part is connected to the base part, the gas inlet of the upper part connects to the gas outlet of the base part.

The present invention thus provides for a burner assembly in which the upper part with the grate and the flame spreader is an integral unit which as a whole can be removed from and rein stalled to the base part, which facilitates handling of the de vice during removal, installation and cleaning, since only a single component is to be manipulated. Furthermore, given that the sole burner parts that are provided in the base part are the gas outlet and the ignition source, these elements can be pro vided in the cooktop surface in a manner that allows easy clean ing of the base part when the upper part has been removed.

The cleanability of the assembly can be further improved by ade quate selection of the materials for the individual components. In that respect it should be noted that although the upper part is designed as an integral unit, the flame-spreader can be made from a different material than the grate or a burner cap that is formed with the grate. Thus, while the flame-spreader advanta geously can be made for example of aluminum which facilitates high precision forming of the flame-spreader, such as to provide for minute gas outlet openings, the grate and any components formed therewith, such as a burner cap and/or legs for support ing the upper part, can be formed as a molded part which is pro vided with an easy to clean coating, such as an enamel coating.

Given that the sole elements to be connected when installing the upper part on the base part are the gas inlet and the gas out let, the base part can be used with different upper parts, i.e. with upper parts that differ in the size and shape of the grate and/or that differ in the gas throughput of the flame spreader, i.e. in the power of the burner, but which all have a gas inlet of a common size and shape.

Furthermore, due to the flame spreader being an annular element, the gas inlet being not centrally located but eccentrically along the annular shape of the flame spreader, which allows po sitioning the upper part in different orientations with respect to the base part. Thus, the present invention for a gas cooking assembly which allows rotating the upper part, which when using more the gas cooking assembly with at least one further burner allows combining adjacent gas cooking zones so as to adapt the size and shape of the cooking zone to cooking vessels of differ ent size and shape.

Preferred embodiments of the above gas cooking assembly are de fined in the dependent claims.

In particular, the grate may comprise an annular disk which in terposes the flame spreader and which carries a plurality of bars for supporting a cooking vessel. In such embodiments, the annular disk of the grate provides a stable basis that intercon nects the plurality of bars, which thus can be freely placed at any angular position of the annular disk, such as in a regular pattern of four bars that are arranged in a cross-like fashion, i.e. when measuring from a first bar at 90°, 180° and 210° . Of course also any other number and/or orientation of the bars is possible .

In such latter embodiments, a plurality of legs can be attached to the annular disk, wherein each leg has a foot for supporting the upper part on the cooktop surface. The grate thus can be configured as a stable stand-alone support, wherein the grate not only carries the cooking vessel, but also provides for the structural elements by which the upper part of the burner assem bly an any cooking vessel placed thereon is supported by the cooktop surface.

In a particularly preferred embodiment, the bars for carrying a cooking vessel extend outwardly beyond the annular disk and merge into the legs, in which manner there can be provided for a large and stable supporting surface for carrying a cooking ves sel and which at the same time provides for maximum stability for the standing of the legged grate on the cooktop surface, since the legs thus can be placed at a maximum distance to each other .

Advantageously, the legs can be are sized to provide for a dis tance between the flame spreader and the cooktop surface, so that the legs are the only elements of the upper part that are in contact with the cooktop surface, in which manner most part of the cooktop surface below the upper part remains free and thus is easy to clean after removal of the upper part.

The flame spreader can have a generally U-shaped cross-sectional shape having inner and outer annular walls with a plurality of recesses along the upper edge of the inner and/or outer wall. Together with a corresponding capping element that closes the U- shape at the top side, such as the bottom side of the grate to which the flame spreader directly abuts, or a cap ring which is interposed between the flame spreader and the grate, the inter nal volume of the U-shape forms a gas distribution chamber by which gas is passed from the gas inlet to the plural burner openings that are formed as recesses along the upper edge of the inner and/or outer wall. While the flame spreader thus can be configured selectively as a burner nozzle comprising a circular outwardly directed gas flow, as a burner nozzle comprising a circular inwardly directed gas flow, or as a burner nozzle that ejects two concentric flame rings, configuring the respective outlet openings as recesses along the upper edge of the inner and/or outer wall facilitates manufacturing of the flame

spreader .

As already was mentioned above, the flame spreader can directly abut against the bottom side of the grate, in which case the grate also acts as cap element for closing the U-shape of the flame spreader.

In the alternative, there also can be provided a dedicated cap ring which is interposed between the flame spreader and the grate, wherein the cap ring rests on the upper edge of the inner and outer walls of the flame spreader.

Irrespective of whether the flame spreader abuts against the bottom side of the grate or a dedicated cap ring is interposed between the flame spreader and the grate, the grate or cap ring serves to close the upper open side of the U-shaped flame spreader so as to form a distribution chamber to which gas is supplied via the gas inlet and from which gas is ejected via the plurality of openings that are provided by the recesses along the upper edge of the inner and/or outer wall. Providing a dedi cated cap ring can be advantageous in terms of controlling gas exit from the flame spreader. That is, for example when the grate is formed of enameled metal, the bottom side of the grate might not be sufficiently even to prevent uncontrolled gas exit at the location of contact between the flame spreader and the grate, in which case a dedicated cap ring can be provided, so as to reliably close the distribution chamber of the flame

spreader. The cap ring can be made of a different material than the materials that are used for the flame spreader and/or the grate which allows using alternative manufacturing techniques that may provide for improved performance, such as better cou pling of parts and/or higher precision in dimensional control of the parts.

The flame spreader can be attached to the grate by a plurality of clamps or bolts, so that the upper part comprising the at least one foot, the grate and the annular flame spreader, is re liably combined into an integral unit that can be handled as a single piece

In order not to impede the gas flow through the annular

spreader, the flame spreader can comprise a plurality of lugs that extend outside of the annular shape of the flame spreader and which are located below bars of the grate, wherein bolts ex tend through the lugs into the bars .

To provide for a connection between gas outlet and gas inlet, and at the same time to provide for means for facilitating the placement of the upper part with respect to the base part, the gas inlet can comprise a duct protruding downwards from the up per part, and the gas outlet of the base part can comprise a re ceptacle for insertion of said duct. When installing the upper part on the base part, the upper part is placed above the base part in a manner so that the protruding duct is oriented to co incide with the receptacle of the base part, whereupon the upper part is lowered to thus insert the duct into the receptacle.

In preferred embodiments, the gas outlet of the base part pro trudes upwards from the base part, so that the upper edge of the gas outlet is located above the cooktop surface. When the device is to be cleaned with the upper part having been removed from the base part, the cooktop surface with the base part thus can be safely wetted with cleaning liquid without risk of water flowing into the gas outlet. Providing for a raised configura tion of the gas outlet further can facilitate aligning the upper part with respect to the base part, since thus both the duct of the upper part and the corresponding receptacle of the base part can be easily haptically located and thus serve as locator ele ments that facilitate the alignment. The duct and the receptacle can be shaped to allow insertion of the duct into the receptacle only at a predetermined orientation of the upper part with respect to the base part. The duct and the receptacle thus not only act as locator elements, but also ensure proper angular orientation of the upper part with respect to the base part. It should be understood that in such embodi ments the predetermined orientation needs not be a single orien tation, but also may comprises a plurality of orientations, such as an orthogonal pattern of orientations in which the upper part, starting from a first orientation, selectively can be lo cated turned by 90°, by 180° or by 270°.

In such embodiments the duct and the receptacle can have a cross-sectional shape which has a single axis of symmetry, so as to allow insertion of the duct into the receptacle only at two predetermined orientations of the upper part with respect to the base part, so that the upper part selectively can be set onto the base part in a first orientation and in a second orientation in which the upper part is rotated by 180° with respect to the first orientation.

Restricting the orientation of the upper part to a first orien tation and to a second orientation in which the upper part is rotated by 180° with respect to the first orientation has the advantage that in such embodiments the duct and the receptacle can be given a lengthy shape, such as a an oblong shape or a generally rectangular shape, optionally with rounded corners, in which the longer axis extends tangentially to the annular shape of the flame spreader which allows for a substantially larger cross-section, and hence flow area, of the gas supply duct, as if the duct and the receptacle have a, for example, circular shape. Furthermore, the duct can have a shape that itself influ ences the flow characteristics of the fuel gas-air mixture as it is passed via the duct to the distribution chamber of the flame spreader, such as selecting a shape for the interior wall of the duct which provides for a Venturi effect on the gas air mixture as it passes through the duct. Thus, the duct can have a shape which provides for a constriction or throat along the length of the duct, so that the fuel gas-air mixture is accelerated when passing the duct.

The base part further can comprise an adjustable Venturi assem bly for control of the flow of air that is used in the mixture of fuel gas and air which is fed via the distribution chamber to the plurality of gas outlet openings. In order to allow instal lation of the burner assembly in a kitchen bench without any parts protruding beyond the thickness of the bench, the adjusta ble Venturi assembly preferably is configured for horizontal in stallation. The adjustable Venturi assembly can be designed to draw in primary air from the ambient of the burner assembly un der the cooktop surface. Upon mixing such air with fuel gas that is supplied from a gas supply, the fuel gas-air mixture flows upwards through the vertical inlet duct into the distribution chamber of the flame-spreader.

To shut off the gas flow to the gas cooking assembly in case that the burner flame extinguishes, such as by an unintended in terruption of the gas supply, a strong air flow, or liquid spilling over the burner assembly, the base part further may comprise a thermocouple for providing a flame signal indicating that the burner flame is ignited, and a safety valve for shut ting off the gas supply if the thermocouple no longer provides the flame signal. In such embodiments the thermocouple senses the temperature near the burner nozzle. If it is determined that the temperature has fallen below a preset minimum temperature, it is assumed that the burner flame no longer is burning and hence the gas supply is shut off by the safety valve. The gas cooking assembly of the present invention can be used in a hob in combination with at least one further gas burner which either may be a conventional fixed gas burner or another gas cooking assembly of the present invention, so that by changing the orientation of the gas cooking assembly of the present in vention the distance between the at least two gas burners can be varied, such as to selectively provide for two individual cook ing zone, or to provide for one combined cooking zone for heat ing larger lengthy cooking vessels.

Thus, a hob may comprise two gas burners, on which at least one is a gas cooking assembly as suggested herein, which is located such that the gas inlet is located at a distance to the second burner so that the grates of the two gas burners selectively can be placed adjacent to each other to form a combined cooking zone, or the upper part of the inventive gas cooking assembly can be turned by 180° so that its grate is located at a larger distance to the second burner. When drawing a line through the centers of the burners, the gas inlet of the rotatable burner assembly thus would be placed on such line facing away from the second gas burner.

Similarly, in a hob having three gas cooking zones, the burners may be arranged to be located along a line passing through the centers of the burners, wherein the middle one can be located such that the gas inlet is located 90° above or below the con nection line, so that by rotating the middle burner, the burner can be placed so as to form a triangle. Further, one or two of the burners to the left and to the right can be oriented such that the gas inlet is located on the said connection line at a distance that such burner selectively can be placed proximal to the middle burner, so as to form a combined cooking zone. The present invention is described in further detail below by reference to the drawings in which:

Fig 1 is a perspective view of a gas cooking assembly in ac cordance with the present invention;

Fig 2 is a side view illustrating the gas cooking assembly

shown in Fig. 1;

Fig 3 is a perspective view illustrating the upper part of the gas cooking assembly shown in Figs. 1 and 2;

Fig 4 is a perspective view illustrating an alternative embodi ment of the upper part of the gas cooking assembly shown in Figs. 1 and 2;

Fig 5 shows the gas connection between the upper part and the base part;

Figs. 6A and 6B show the gas connection between the upper part and the base part when viewed from above in differ ent positions of the upper part;

Fig. 7 illustrates rotation of the gas cooking assembly in ac cordance with the present invention;

Figs. 8A and 8B illustrate a hob or a portion thereof, with two gas cooking assemblies in different operating posi tions ;

Figs. 9A and 9B illustrate a hob or a portion thereof, with three gas cooking assemblies in different operating posi tions; and

Figs. 10A and 10B illustrate a further embodiment hob or a por tion thereof, with three gas cooking assemblies in dif ferent operating positions.

Fig. 1 illustrates in perspective view a gas cooking assembly in accordance with the present invention. The gas cooking assembly comprises a base part 10 and an upper part 12. The base part 10 which may be part of a hob comprises a burner body 14 which is installed from the bottom side of a cooktop surface 16, which may be for example a glass ceramic plate. In its base portion that is located below cooktop surface 16, the burner body com prises means for controlling gas flow, such as a an adjustable Venturi assembly 18 that is configured to control the air flow to the burner, so as to control the amount of air feed in order to control the mixing ratio of fuel gas and air. As schemati cally illustrated in Fig. 2, the adjustable Venturi assembly 18 preferably is oriented horizontally in the burner body 14, so as to control the flow of gas that is fed to the adjustable Venturi assembly 18 via a gas line 52 to a vertical duct 54 which feeds a gas outlet 20 that is provided in an upper portion of the burner body 14. As can be seen in Figs. 1 to 4, in addition to the gas outlet 20, the base part 10 comprises an ignition source 22, such as a piezoelectric spark plug, and a thermocouple 24 for sensing temperature, which elements all are mounted so as to project upwardly beyond the level of the cooktop surface 16.

Upper part 12 comprises a grate 26 for supporting a cooking ves sel and an annular flame spreader 28 which is mounted at the bottom side of an annular cap element 30 that is integrally con nected with the grate 26. In the embodiment shown in the draw ings, grate 26 comprises four bars 32 which are arranged in a cross-like fashion and which extend outwardly beyond the cap el ement 30 so as to provide for a stable support for a cooking vessel. At their outer ends, bars 32 merge into downwardly ex tending legs 34 each of which terminates in a foot 36 having a flat horizontal bottom surface with which the foot rests in the cooktop surface 16.

The cap ring 30 and the grate 26 can be formed as an integral part, and thus for example can be formed as a cast iron part which is provided with an enamel coating. Flame spreader 28 can be made of the same or a different material than the grate. In the embodiments shown herein, flame spreader 28 is a U-shaped aluminum ring which as can be best seen in Figs. 3 and 4 has a plurality of recesses 38 along the inner and outer walls 40, 42. The space between inner wall 40 and outer wall 42 forms a gas distribution chamber 44, via which a fuel gas-air mixture is passed from a gas inlet 46 to the plurality of recesses 38.

While in the embodiment shown in Fig. 3, the flame spreader 28 directly abuts with the upper faces of the inner and outer walls 40, 42 against the bottom side of cap ring 30 of the grate 12, in the embodiment shown in Fig. 4 a separate cap ring 48 is in terposed between the flame spreader 28 and the grate 12. The cap ring 48 rests on the upper edges of the inner and outer walls 40, 42 of the flame spreader 28 and thus forms a top wall for the gas distribution chamber 44.

As further can be best seen in Figs. 3 and 4, the flame spreader 28 and the grate 12 are fixedly connected to each other by means of a plurality of bolts 50 which extend through the flame spreader 28 into threads that are formed in bars 32 of the grate 12. Of course the flame spreader 28, the grate 12 and optionally the separate cap ring 48 also can be fixed to each by other re leasable or permanent fixing means, such as by clamps, by form- fit or by welding or brazing. In case that bolts are used for providing for the connection, the flame spreader can be provided with lugs that extend outside of the annular shape of the flame spreader 28 and which are located below the bars 32 of the grate 12, so that the bolts do not obstruct the gas flow within the gas distribution chamber 44.

Figs. 5 illustrates in detail the gas connection between base part 10 and upper part 12. Flame spreader 28 of upper part 12 has a gas inlet duct 46 protruding downwards from the flame spreader 28. With gas inlet duct 46 having an oblong cross-sec tional shape, burner body 14 of the base part 10 comprises a re ceptacle 56 of corresponding oblong inner cross-sectional shape for insertion of the gas inlet duct 46. As shown in Figs. 6A and 6B the gas inlet duct 46 and the receptacle 56 which comprises the gas outlet 20 of the base part 10 have an oblong shape, the longer side of which has a curvature that corresponds to the shape of the inner wall 40. In order to allow rotation of the upper part 12 by 180°, so that the upper part 12 can be rotated from the position shown in Fig. 6A by 180° so as to assume the orientation shown in Fig. 6B, the gas inlet duct 46 and the re ceptacle 56 with the gas outlet 20 also along the outer wall 42 has a curvature that corresponds to the shape of the inner wall 40, so that the duct has a shape that is symmetric both about an axis that extends along the longitudinal direction of the duct as well as about an axis that extends along the short direction of the duct. For use in a standard domestic cooking hob, the gas inlet duct typically will have a length of about 20 to 28 mm and a width of 3 to 9 mm, which provides for an open cross-sectional area that is well sufficient for implementing gas throughput rates as they are typical for gas burners of cooking hobs.

While ignition source 22 and thermocouple 24 can be integrated into burner body 14, Fig. 5 shows an embodiment, in which to fa cilitate installation of ignition source 22 and thermocouple 24, burner body 14 is provided with clamps 58 that are located on both sides of receptacle 56.

As will be readily understood from the above, the present inven tion provides for an easy to use burner assembly in which the flame spreader is joined with the grate to form an integral unit which can be completely removed from the cooking top, while the spark plug and the thermocouple remain installed in the cooktop, as is also illustrated in Figs. 6A and 6B .

When setting upper part 12 onto base part 10, gas inlet duct 46 and receptacle 56 serve as locator elements which assist the user in locating the correct position for installation of the burner assembly upper part 12. That is, with gas inlet duct 46 and receptacle 56 in the installed position of the upper part 12 at the base part 10 overlapping for a certain distance, when in stalling the burner upper part 12, it is held above the base at the position where the gas inlet duct 46 overlaps the receptacle 56, which position can be easily found since both these parts protrude towards each other, and then the upper part 12 is low ered so as to insert gas inlet duct 46 into the receptacle 56. Due to the symmetric cross-sectional shape of gas inlet duct 46 and receptacle 56, the upper part 12 can be selectively set onto the base part 10 in one of two positions, as it is illustrated in Fig. 7. When used in combination with at least one further gas burner, the burner assembly thus allows varying the size and shape of the cooking zones provided by these burners.

Figs. 8A and 8B illustrate an example of employing a gas cooking assembly as it suggested herein as a rotatable burner 60 in com bination with a further burner assembly 62, which either may be a fixed burner or also a rotatable burner. In the situation shown in Fig. 8A the upper part 12 of burner assembly 62 is po sitioned such that it is positioned on its base part in the po sition shown in Fig. 7 as "burner right position", in which the gas inlet 64 is located on a line that extends through the cen ters of rotatable burner 60 and of the further burner assembly 62, wherein the gas inlet 64 is located to the left of the cen ter of rotatable burner 60. In this position rotatable burner 60 and the further burner assembly 62 are located at a distance to each other so as to constitute two separate cooking zones which in Fig. 8A are marked by circles 66 and 68.

By removing upper part 12 of rotatable burner 60, turning it by

180° and again placing it onto the gas outlet so that the gas inlet 64 is located to the right of the center of rotatable burner 60, the grates of rotatable burner 60 of further burner assembly 62 are located adjacent to each other, so that these burners form a combined cooking zone 70 for heating larger lengthy cooking vessels.

Similarly, in a hob having at least three gas burners, as is il lustrated in Figs. 9A and 9B, the three gas burners can be se lectively combined into one large lengthy cooking zone (see Fig. 9A) , or, by turning the middle burner assembly 72 by 180° about its gas inlet 74, the three burner assemblies can be separated from each other so as to constitute three independent cooking zones or one large triangular cooking for heating a large cook ing vessels that is set on all three burners (see Fig. 9B) .

When further also the left burner assembly 76 and the right burner assembly 78 are configured as rotatable burner assem blies, wherein the gas inlet 80 of the left burner assembly 76 and the gas inlet 82 of the right burner assembly 78 are located in the position shown in Fig. 10A on a line that extends through the centers of left burner assembly 76 and of right burner as sembly 78, wherein in the situation shown in Fig. 10A the gas inlet 80 of the left burner assembly 76 is located to the right of the center of left burner assembly 76 and the gas inlet 82 of the right burner assembly 78 is located to the left of the cen ter of right burner assembly 78, by turning left burner assembly 76 by 180° about gas inlet 80 and turning right burner assembly 78 by 180° about gas inlet 82, the three burner assemblies 72,

76 and 78 can be combined into a triangular cooking zone for the heating of larger circular vessels in which the three burner as semblies 72, 76 and 78 are located close to each other as it is illustrated in Fig. 10B.

As will be readily understood, there are various further options of providing for flexible cooking zones by combining one or more of the rotatable burner assemblies suggested herein one or more further burner assemblies, which either also can be rotatable burner assemblies or the location of which is fixed with respect to the cooktop surface.

List of Reference Signs

10 base part

12 upper part

14 burner body

16 cooktop surface

18 adjustable Venturi assembly

20 gas outlet

22 ignition source

24 thermocouple

26 grate

28 flame spreader

30 cap element

32 bar

34 leg

36 foot

38 recess

40 inner wall

42 outer wall

44 gas distribution chamber

46 gas inlet

48 cap ring

50 bolt

52 gas line

54 vertical duct

56 receptacle

58 holder

60 rotatable burner

62 additional burner

64 gas inlet of 60

66 left cooking zone

68 right cooking zone

70 combined cooking zone

72 middle burner assembly

74 gas inlet of 72 left burner assembly right burner assembly gas inlet of 76 gas inlet of 78